(TALLAHASSEE) — Governor DeSantis has appointed former Palm Beach County prosecutor Pete Antonacci as his director of the Office of Election Crimes and Security, a new division focused on assessing voting irregularities.
Antonacci, better known as “Mr. Fix-It,” has an extensive history of being conjured by state leaders to launch thorough investigations in possible election wrongdoings.
Florida’s primary elections are scheduled for Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
The new director has previously held a series of high-profile positions under the former Gov. Rick Scott which included being state attorney in Palm Beach County, executive director of the South Florida Water Management District, president of the state business-recruitment agency Enterprise Florida, and Broward County Supervisor of Elections.
Florida lawmakers established the “Office of Election Crimes and Security” in a bill passed back in March, which was advocated by DeSantis. The office is expected to launch investigations into fraudulent election efforts.
Antonacci steps into the role exactly a year after the Florida Cabinet and DeSantis had appointed him as Chief Judge of the state Division of Administrative Hearings.
I applaud @GovRonDeSantis for appointing Pete Antonacci as the first Director of the Office of Election Crimes and Security. Director Antonacci will ensure our election laws are enforced and that voters can have confidence in our elections. More: https://t.co/UQmZGnlImX pic.twitter.com/w4mKetRZ6A
— Florida Department of State (@FLSecofState) July 6, 2022
DeSantis says he is confident Antonacci “will lead the Office of Election Crimes and Security with integrity and ensure that Florida’s elections are the most secure in the nation.”
Leon County Supervisor of Elections, Mark Earley, also expressed his approval of Antonacci stepping into the role.
“I trust he will serve the people of Florida with an even hand to ensure the continued fairness and sanctity of our elections process,” Earley said in a statement allocated by the governor’s office. “Peter understands the complexities of election law, and the need for a reserved and judicious application of the power this new office wields.”
Staff Writer, Julianna Caban, contributed to the story.